Photo: NY Times
Well, as most of you might already know, George Tenet, the director of the CIA, has resigned. President Bush and Director Tenet both said he is resigning for personal reasons. If you go around the press, there is plenty of speculation what the real reason of Tenet's resignation is. Was he forced out? Is he the fall guy? Or is he an honorable man who just had to go?
Well, I am sure we will find the answers to these questions in time. But here is what I think. I think Tenet needed to go. Now before you jump on me as a Bush-hater, remember that Tenet was first appointed by Clinton. But Tenet needed to go because in the latter years (especially since Bush came to office - talk about spoiling company), Tenet has done a poor job - especially on Iraq WMD intelligence. Some blame surely belongs on his shoulders. And some heads need to fall. Tenet is gone; Rumsfeld, Powell, and Rice should be next in line. The intelligence failure (or coverup) happened at the highest levels of the administration, and Tenet's resignation is not nearly enough. Still, I think Tenet may be merely the last in a series of Bush advisors who have grown so frustrated with the Administration's lies, they could no longer serve in good conscience. Paul O'Neil, Richard Clarke have done this before, to name a few. Both of them came out with information depicting Bush's ineptitude. Will Tenet do the same? If he does, this could be huge. He is the director of the CIA. He has information nobody else does. Will he let lose some of that info when he is called to testify as Citizen Tenet rather than Director Tenet? I guess we'll see.
Now, let's turn to my political hero. Howard Dean was the first to call for Tenet's resignation over 6 months ago - no other Democrat, let alone Republicans, dared do so. Then Al Gore called for his resignation a couple weeks ago. Now both Dean and Gore are now considered progressive-liberal politicians who the media loves to hate. So why do they keep turning out to be right? Why does Dean keep turning out to be right? He has turned out to be right about Iraq's supposed threat, he has turned out to be right about demanding Tenet's head, he has been right about everything on foreign policy. Could it be that Democrats just lost the best nominee they could have had since FDR? I think so.